New Environment Secretary appointed

Dr Thérèse Coffey returns to DEFRA

Dr Thérèse Coffey has been appointed as the new Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Dr Coffey is MP for Suffolk Coastal, and has previously served in DEFRA, the Department for Health and and Department for Work and Pensions.

In welcoming the new Secretary of State, Country Land and Business President Mark Tufnell said:

“We warmly welcome Dr Thérèse Coffey to her new role, in a department with which she is already well familiar having served there in 2016 - 2019.

“Her in-tray is already full. The UK Government’s flagship Environmental Land Management (ELM) schemes set out an ambitious and welcome direction. However many farmers are yet to be convinced the schemes are right for their business, not helped by very poor communication from Ministers about their intentions for the schemes through the recent political chaos.

“We call on Dr Coffey to work quickly to improve the schemes – not least by fast-tracking key elements of SFI standards and announcing measures for 2023 and beyond. This will give farmers the confidence they desperately need that ELM can help them feed the nation as well as help to improve the natural environment.

“The previous Government created a new role of Minister of Rural Economic Growth. It was an important move that recognised the enormous economic potential of rural businesses. It is vital that this role is maintained, giving Government a laser-like focus on removing the many barriers to starting and growing a business in rural communities.”